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Protecting the Paradise Forests

Page - December 21, 2006
The magnificent Paradise Forests of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia are among the few remaining ancient forest areas left on earth. So much is at stake here but the forest is under siege from illegal and destructive industrial logging.

Orang-utans are an endangered forest species. We must protect the forest to save them.

The Paradise Forests are being destroyed faster than any other on forest on the planet. Much of the large intact forest landscapes have already been cut down, 72 percent in Indonesia and 60 percent in Papua New Guinea.

There are alternatives to this destruction. Ways to provide jobs and protect the forest and animals and indigenous people who live there.

Greenpeace has been working in the Paradise Forests for over a decade exposing illegal and destructive logging and working with local communities to reclaim their traditional lands and create sustainable solutions.

Greenpeace's work in the Paradise Forests

In the Paradise Forests:

  • We help forest communities develop ecologically sustainable alternatives, such as ecoforestry.
  • We are working with local communities to stop illegal and destructive logging and help them gain back control of their land. Part of this work has included helping the indigenous people with boundary marking.
  • We have formed partnerships with community-based and non-government organisations in the region.
  • Our work has seen us confront the illegal loggers in the forest and in the consumer countries.

Outside the forest:

Some of our most effective work is done outside the forest, using our global reach and more than three decades of international campaigning expertise.

  • We lobby politicians and industry to stop illegal and destructive logging and the illegal timber trade. This includes being involved with the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance process.
  • We inform consumers how they can buy good wood.
  • We expose the forest destroyers to the world.

View larger map of Paradise Forests

Greenpeace has been working with customary landowners and local non-government organisations to protect the Paradise Forests. This initiative has helped close down corrupt forestry activities and set up community-operated alternatives, such as ecoforestry, in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

In 2003, Greenpeace and its partners helped customary landowners throw Concord Pacific (controlled by Datuk Yaw of Samling), a Malaysian company involved in illegal logging, off the land around Lake Murray, western Papua New Guinea.

Greenpeace and partners are supporting the communities' efforts to move towards eco-forestry and to hold the logging company to account for the damage it caused. The company is facing charges in the Papua New Guinea court for trespassing during its illegal logging activities.

Greenpeace is invloved in a project in Papua, a province of Indonesia, to set the stage for eco-enterprises and is stepping up its work with communities in Papua New Guinea.

Together, these initiatives will help protect what is left of the largest intact, pristine region of the Paradise Forests, a prime target for the logging industry to exploit. Community land use planning, boundary marking and mapping are setting the stage for alternative eco-enterprises and protection from logging.